Sunday, July 24, 2005

China punctuates diving dominance at worlds

I too have seen a slice of the diving program in China. - More Sports - China punctuates diving dominance at worlds - Sunday July 24, 2005 9:30PM Taylor has visited China and seen the country's diving programs.

'They've got a great system,' he said. 'They have everything you could possibly want -- good funding and good support.'

Sure, they do have a great program. Sure, there is plenty of motivation. Excellent coaching is present. However, to say they have everything you could possibly want -- might be a bit of a stretch. However, they can stretch to the water -- at all ages and in all the corners of the vast country. The divers in China are the tops in the world. They'll stay that way for some years into the future.

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China caps dominant run of diving
Posted: Sunday July 24, 2005 9:30PM; Updated: Sunday July 24, 2005 9:30PM

MONTREAL (AP) -- China didn't win every diving medal at the World Swimming Championships. It only seemed that way.

The Chinese concluded a dominant week by winning the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard title for their fifth gold medal and earning a silver in men's 10-meter synchronized Sunday on the last day of diving.

China earned medals in all 10 of the diving events, winning 12 medals overall and equaling its results at the 2003 world meet in Barcelona.

"They practice much more than anyone else," Germany's Conny Schmalfuss said. "We don't even dare think about beating them."

No wonder.

China's showing was a continuation of its dominance at the Athens Games, where the Chinese won six of eight medals.

In Montreal, they relied on veterans like Guo Jingjing, Wu Min Xia and He Chong while introducing a new group of youngsters who could help the country sweep the diving events when it hosts the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"There's going to be a lot of pressure for them," Schmalfuss said.

Li Ting and Guo easily won the women's 3-meter synchronized title.

The Russian duo of Dmitry Dobroskok and Gleb Galperin won the gold in men's synchronized 10-meter; China was second.

Li and Guo led all the way in the women's event and finished with 349.80 points.

Ditte Kotzian and Schmalfuss of Germany earned the silver with 319.05. Kristina Ishchenko and Olena Fedorova of Ukraine took the bronze with 308.82.

Guo won her third consecutive world title in the event. She was the champion in 2001 and 2003 with Wu, and the duo captured the gold at the Athens Olympics.

Guo defeated Wu to win the gold on individual 3-meter in Montreal.

"We are always fighting against ourselves," Guo said.

The Chinese women received six 10.0s overall for synchronization during the five-dive final.

"This was my first time in the world championships on the 3-meter," Li said. "We got very good results."

Americans Nancilea Underwood and Christina Loukas finished last among 12 teams after practicing together just twice.

They substituted for Laura Wilkinson and Chelsea Davis, who hit her nose and scraped her head in a dramatic accident on the board during Friday's 3-meter preliminaries.

Davis needed stitches in her swollen nose and didn't recover in time to compete Sunday. Rather than have Wilkinson dive with someone who wasn't a physical match, the U.S. coaches chose a new team.

Davis appeared before the women's final, telling the crowd that she felt fine and thanking them for their support.

In men's platform, Dobroskok and Galperin won with 392.88 points.

The Russians earned all 10.0s for synchronization on their first two dives, building a large lead over the Chinese.

Yang Jinghui and Hu Jia of China took the silver with 374.79 after practicing together for one week.

Peter Waterfield and Leon Taylor of Great Britain earned the bronze with 367.95.

Taylor has visited China and seen the country's diving programs.

"They've got a great system," he said. "They have everything you could possibly want -- good funding and good support."

Americans Matt Bricker and J.J. Kinzbach failed to advance.

Hu won the individual platform title Saturday, and Galperin finished third.

The United States won three medals, nearly a year after being shut out at the Athens Olympics for the first time in 92 years.

The highlight was a gold for Wilkinson on the 10-meter platform. Troy Dumais took the silver on the 3-meter springboard, and he and his brother Justin Dumais shared the bronze on the synchronized 3-meter.

Australia didn't have a team in the men's 10-meter event Sunday after Matthew Mitcham injured his back in dry-land warmups. He had X-rays, which were negative.